For immediate release:
Cal State L.A. Alumna and Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King Ranked No. 12 Amongst
NCAAÂs 100 Most Influential
Student-Athletes of the Last Century
Places just ahead of Tiger Woods
and President Gerald R. Ford on the list
LOS ANGELES Â Cal State L.A. alumna and tennis legend Billie Jean King has been named the 12th most influential NCAA student-athlete of the last 100 years as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced its list of the 100 most influential student-athletes as part of the NCAAÂs centennial celebration.
King attended and played tennis at Cal State L.A. from 1961-64. Just prior to beginning her studies at CSULA, she won the 1961 Wimbledon doubles title, repeating the feat in the summer of 1962 during her undergraduate days. She eventually won an amazing 39 Grand Slam titles, including 20 at Wimbledon and 13 at the U.S. Open.
Her influence is felt daily as King pioneered the equality enjoyed by todayÂs female athletes and has been heralded as an ardent defender of equal rights for all. Through her foundation, Billie Jean King World TeamTennis Charities, King works to inspire all humankind in the pursuit of excellence regardless of race, gender, physical or mental challenges, appearance, or sexual orientation. Off the court, King remains active in a number of important causes. She serves as a director on several boards including the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the WomenÂs Sports Foundation.
For the past eight years, she also has returned to CSULA each fall to host a scholarship fundraiser, helping to raise $1.25 million in that span. She returns again to .
The ranking of the NCAAÂs 100 most influential student-athletes was not limited to those who played professional sports. Some of those ranked behind King include current U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan (16), President George H.W. Bush (17), Joe Paterno (26), Sally Ride (27), Peter Ueberroth (34), former U.S. Senator Bob Dole (36), IOC member Anita DeFrantz (49), Alan Shepard (64), current U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (76), former Lakers great Jerry West (79) and Nike founder Phil Knight (85). The full list is available online at http://web1.ncaa.org/cent/mostInfluential.jsp.
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